In the first nine months of this year, the number of foreign tourists fell by 69%, sending the Italian tourism sector in a ”deep shock”, Reuters reports.
The number of domestic tourists also fell over the summer, according to Istat.
Most foreign tourists came to Italy from Germany (47%), while from the US there were almost no visitors.
The hardest hit regions were the cities and towns on the Mediterranean coast, which saw a 96% decline in foreign tourists in April compared to a similar period in 2019.
Mountain regions reported a drop of only 9% during the summer.
The impact of the pandemic on the Italian tourism industry could reach 100 billion euros ($ 118 billion) this year, well above previous estimates, according to recently published studies by tourism groups Confiturismo and Assoturismo.
The amount represents over 6% of Italy’s GDP at the end of last year.